Areva Martin, president and founder of the Special Needs Network (SNN) continues her commitment to providing parents with the proper tools to advocate for their special needs children. SNN’s 12th year of its Parent Advocacy Mentor (PAM) program is once again virtual, so enrollment is open to everyone. 

The Special Needs Network, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, is committed to providing a comprehensive program designed to address and mitigate issues caused by racial disparities that Black, Hispanic, and other minority children, between the ages of 0-5 years can face in accessing early diagnoses and interventions for intellectual/developmental disabilities. 

The program focuses on understanding systems of care, accessing regional center services, public speaking, community organizing, and coalition building. Graduates of the PAM program will learn how to be an advocate for change and address issues of structural racism, coping strategies for grief and stress, identify resources and navigate systems of care, achieve success with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), regional center services, other generic services, how to testify at public hearings, how to form support groups and most of all how to build advocacy skills through social media networking. 

The free program will have two-hour training sessions on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon. Program training dates began on Feb. 5th and are held every remaining Saturday in February. Participants will be provided with materials, and personalized training and support. Each attendee will also receive a Certificate of Achievement upon program completion. 

Visit https://snnla.org/programs/advocacy/parent-advocacy-mentorprogram-pam/. Special Needs Network is based in Los Angeles and is California’s leading grassroots autism advocacy organization. SNN was established to help individuals and families faced with autism and other developmental disabilities. The organization focuses on raising public awareness, impacting public policy, increasing education and access to resources for families, children and adults. Since its inception, SNN has served more than 35,000 individuals and families impacted by autism. To learn more, visit http://www.specialneedsnetwork.org.

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